In its latest half yearly review of the hotel
industry, Christie & Co said the market has been
enjoying” a stellar period as one of the few
sectors to fully benefit from the response to the
This has been underpinned by the increase
in tourism because of the decline in the value of
sterling which boosted the number of arrivals from
overseas to 39.9 million last year, an increase of 6.2
per cent on 2016.
Sustained consumer demand has resulted in an
increase of 19,000 hotel rooms in 2017/18, according
to AM:PM. In turn this brought in increased numbers
of investor and “an unparalleled variety of buyers
from across the globe, showing that international
interest in the UK has not slowed”, said Christie.
Demand for quality hotels remains high, but also
competitive, which is reflected in higher sale prices.
“Big ticket transactions are becoming increasingly
frequent, said Christie, “with investor appetites
clearly geared towards more substantial deals,”
In the second half London alone is due to have
9,000 new hotel rooms and there has been an
improvement in the rate of return on each room in
the regions, where many new hotels are also being
built, such as Liverpool, Manchester and Stoke.
Commercial Property Register
October - December 2018www.compropregister.com
construction industry has experienced a variable year in terms of performance, which has brought
some concern about its ability to meet all the needs of the UK economy. Blane Perrotton of Naismiths
said: “After a turbo charged summer, the ship has steadied and an uneasy calm is returning to the
construction industry. July’s mini explosion in both output and sentiment was an expression of pent-up
demand rather than a permanent turn-round. With the Brexit storm clouds still looming on the horizon,
the current modest progress is as much as can be expected.”
It is conventional wisdom to
bemoan the existence of the
north/south divide and what
damage it causes to the economy.
But another way of looking at
this subject at the moment is to
examine the existence of optimism
in the major northern cities that
are less influenced by the wave of
media gloom and political agitation
found in London and the south.
Were this not true, how is it that
Manchester could be heading for
another record year for city centre
take-up. The mood in Manchester
and other areas of the North West is
far from being gloomy and this helps
their economic performance.
They do not want to wallow in
recriminations about the state of
the country as Brexit approaches,
although they are aware of the
dangers entailed in the process.
They want to get on and improve
It is a burning desire in the
Potteries where the decline of their
world-leading traditional industry
has been so damaging. But ceramic
firms have held on and meet foreign
competition and the city authorities
have plugged away at regeneration
which has resulted in a vibrant and
improving cultural quarter.
It all takes time, as Allied
Spinningfields scheme in Manchester
which has been such a vital element
Architectural quality has improved
enormously and now we have the
fine St Peter’s Square development
pushing the city further up the
ladder of global cities.
An indication of the current
confident mood in Manchester is
that the big NOMA development
is moving along with a contractor
appointed for the £34 million
refurbishment of Hanover, a
city centr warehouse.
It is being remodelled to provide
8,434 sq.metres (91,000sq.ft.
Grade A offices and 1,672 sq.metres
) of retail and leisure.
The developers, Hermes and the
Co-op, hope to attract technology
and creative companies to the property
in the em rging district for innovative
businesses. Ben Tolhurst f Hermes
said: “Hanover will offer prime
heritage space that will appeal to
businesses wanting the connectivity
to Victoria station and the amenities
offered by the Northern Quarter”.
On the move
One of the more interesting
deals in Manchester brought
the largest Indian bicycle maker
to the city to open a £2 million
Hero Cycles produces one in 20
of all the bikes produced in the world
and is now likely to open a production
plant in the city, which is well known
for being the home of British Cycling.
Ideally, Hero would like to supply its
top bikes to the UK team.
Pankaj Munjal, Hero’s Chairman,
pointed to Manchester’s history of
innovation, citing computers and
graphene as examples, as another
reason for the move, together with
the large student population.
Hero already owns Avocet, a
Manchester based bike designer that
FOR THE CITY
If any company has influenced
the life of a major city, then
surely it has to be Peel with its
huge sch me for Liv rpool
following on from the magic
it has created in S lford.
This is evident from JLL whose
Steph n Hogg said: “Growth in
Liverpool, in part led by
regeneration schemes such as
P el’s £5.5 billion Liv rpool Waters
and the new £1 billion knowledge
quarter, is drawing further interest
from institutional investors”.
Such is the success of the office
market that HMRC’s leasing of the
32,515 sq.metres (350,000sq.ft
India Building, which is owned
by Shelborn Asset Management,
has created something of a
The problem has been caused
by the city’s success in the past year
which has taken so much ut of
the mark t through letting and
c nversion to resid ntial whil
developers sat on their h s so
that a shortage becam inevitable.
Noting the shortage of available
space, Ian Steele of GVA said:
“Gi en the current levels of
d mand and absorption rates, it is
likely that this supply will diminish
wi hin the next 6 to 12 months,
leaving the city without a y
buildings that can offer occupiers
large Grade A floorplates”.
He added that this is likely to
reduce future levels of demand as
well as Liverpool’s ability to attract
large scale inward i v stment.
One major scheme going ahead
is in Lime S ree , with ISG set to
deliver the £39 million mixed use
project for a partnership of Neptune
D velopme ts, Liverpo l City
Cou cil and Sigma C pital o a site
owned by he Curlew Student Trust.
The scheme will have 5 retail
units, a 10 storey building of
student accommodation with 412
units and a Premier Inn with 101
bedrooms. Andy McLinden of ISG
commented: “The Lime Street area
has been in desperate need of a
catalyst scheme to revitalise this
key thor ughfare ear the centre
of the city. The mixed use sch me
represents the first ph se f the
knowledge quarter master plan
and is a hugely important regional
project that will enhance the
character and aspiration of this
key gateway in the city”.
Through boom and bust,
Manchester continues to
perform as it follows the long
settled path of being a
world-class city to match its
soccer teams and music scene.
The ambition is being stepped
up at MIPIM with an enlarged
corporate participation in a pavilion
on the Croissete. The market is also
holding up in all areas with the city
centre notching up a big take up figure again and steady
performances in Warrington, south Manchester and Salford Quays
to complete the picture.
The outlook for new development in the city centre is favourable,
particularly because of a shortage of prime stock and further indicated
by the forward momentum of the ajor NOMA scheme by the
Co-op and Hermes. Bew development is ls occurring elsewhere in
the region, such as another town centre project in Rochdale.
An important part of the equation is that former Chancellor of
the Exchequer, George Osborne’s enthusiasm for the Northern
Powerhouse is continuing with sufficient energy behind the
campaign to make it work.
The other important dimension is that Liverpool appears to have
broken out of the decades long cycle of decline and has lots of
positive things happening in the economy and property industry.
The fact that it has a growing city centr population of young
professionals surely says something about its attractions.
are hosting an open
day on Friday 17th March to
showcase 910 Birchwood Boulevard
Business Park, their latest
refurbishment of an 8,500sq.ft.
detached office building in
Birchwood, Warrington and also to
discuss further plans for Birchwood
Boulevard Business Park. All are
welcome - con act the agents,
BE Group or K ight Frank.
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